Encountering Israel

Image 22 of 24
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22. "Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial": Jerusalem.<br />
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Of all Holocaust memorials, this one reaches both apex and depth of meaning for me. The architecture brilliantly merges form with content, so much so that when I emerged from the claustrophobic darkness into the light and saw Jerusalem outstretched below, I felt a relief and release that was unimaginable.<br />
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Yad Vashem was established in 1953 as the Jewish People's living memorial. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the History Museum pictured here was inaugurated in 2005. The Museum interior is oppressive: dark, narrow, and in the shape of a spike. One enters a horrific past and exits changed, transformed. In this image, the perspective draws the viewer, inexorably, into a frightening black hole.  I did make other images that show a way out and into the light.<br />
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I am a 2nd-generation American. My parents were both born in the US, but their parents were born in Hungary and Russia. Because of anti-semitism, my immediate family left Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century. Those that remained were killed by the Nazis. I have just one cousin, Vera, who survived and bears the numbers tattooed on her arm. The rest perished. This is my memorial.